The FTC required global healthcare company Grifols S.A. to divest blood plasma collection centers in three U.S. cities, among other conditions, as part of a settlement resolving charges that Grifols’ acquisition of Florida-based Biotest US Corporation is anticompetitive and violates federal antitrust law. The complaint alleges that, as proposed, the acquisition would harm competition in the markets for collection of human blood plasma in Lincoln, Nebraska, Augusta, Georgia, and Youngstown, Ohio. Grifols and Biotest US are the only companies that operate plasma collection centers in these cities, and, without a remedy, the merger would result in a merger-to-monopoly in these cities. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Grifols will divest its plasma collection centers in these three cities to KedPlasma, which is a subsidiary of Kedrion Biopharma Inc., a leading manufacturer of protein products and the fifth-largest producer of plasma proteins worldwide.
The complaint also alleges that, absent a remedy, the acquisition would harm the U.S. market for hepatitis B immune globulin, or HBIG, a plasma-derived injectable medicine that provides hepatitis B antibodies for preventing hepatitis B infections. When Grifols announced the proposed acquisition in December 2017, Biotest US owned 41 percent of ADMA Biologics, Inc., which has the largest share in the U.S. market for HBIG and competes with Grifols and one other supplier. Biotest US has recently transferred its ownership share in ADMA to The Biotest Divestiture Trust, the parent company of Biotest US. Because Grifols is only seeking to acquire Biotest US and not its parent, Grifols will not acquire any ownership interest in ADMA under the proposed acquisition. Under the proposed consent agreement, Grifols is prohibited, without prior notification, from acquiring any ownership interest in ADMA or obtaining any rights to nominate or obtain representation on the ADMA Board of Directors.